Chapter 2 Ideas and Theories About Women
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What is the problem with prevailing definitions of woman?
- Definitions of women have often been the result of fear/
- ignorance and have almost always been affected by the distorted perspective of
- one part of humanity seeing another part as “ other “ than itself and drawing
- unjusted inferences from this partial perspective
What does it mean that woman is constructed as ‘other”?
According to Simone de Beauvoir, what problem is
created for women by being ‘the second sex”?
- -Man is active, women is passive.
- -Men are agents in the world, act like they
- are conscious, they act, they make history , they think they rule the world.
What is it that De Beauvoir began to see with ‘new eyes’? Does she deny that there are differences between men and women?
She began to see how man was the subject and women were the other at age 40
What do Aristotle, Kant and Rousseau have in common?
Thought of women as “the lesser”
What is Aristotle’s view of woman and her place in society?
- - She is the “flower pot “ [ prime function to bear children ]
- - A “good” woman is one who produces children and continues
- this function
- -Virtue for women is different from virtue of men
Explain “knowledge is seldom the impartial, objective,unbiased enterprise it has often claimed to be.”
Many things of “knowledge” are more bias rather than the reflection of a gender-netural view
Who do feminists claim we need to listen to in constructing theory? (p. 56)
Those excluded from dominant discourses not only by gender but also by race, class, sexual orientation and history
What is important to any definition of women? (p. 52)
Whatever doesn’t refer to women as they know themselves to be is faulty
What is feminism?
- -Means that women have the right to enough information to
- make informed choices about their lives
- -3 components : movement- meaning a group working to
- accomplish specific goals the goals are…
- o Social and Political change
What do Mary Wollstonecroft, John Stuart Mills and Harriet Taylor Mills have in common?
ALL are for women’s rights. Believe that women would be a good contribution to society (education)
Sought to overcome discrimination by minimizing differences between sexes
The view that there is an essential, innate human nature based on biological reality
Allows for determinate through fluid identity of women
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